County to receive emergency management grants

Freedom New Mexico

Roosevelt County will receive $42,500 in emergency management grants.

The grants are from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and distributed through the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

City of Portales Emergency Management Director Keith Wattenbarger said Roosevelt County received money for three projects.

Wattenbarger said $20,000 would go to buy new tornado warning sirens to supplement those the county’s system. Floyd, Elida and Dora school districts will each receive one, and the city of Portales will get one or two, depending on cost.

The sirens will have speakers facing in multiple directions, and emergency management personnel in Portales will be able to activate them remotely, Wattenbarger said.

Also, $10,000 is earmarked for establishing base radio stations in the county so volunteer fire personnel will be able to communicate on more than one channel at a time, instead of competing for air space. Wattenbarger said the project would be a big benefit for the county and improve safety.

Another $12,500 has been awarded to pay for training exercises in which emergency responders can act out a scenario. With the live scenarios, Wattenbarger said, personnel can see what needs to be changed in emergency plans, and document aspects that need money to help obtain funding in the future.

Wattenbarger said he received a letter of award Nov. 29, and the money will be available after Jan. 1.